Characteristics

Cheese analogues have both advantages and disadvantages compared to their natural counterparts. To date, the biggest problem is flavor. Casein products have a characteristic off-flavor that needs to be masked, in some manner. Likewise, vegetable proteins do not have characteristic, clean dairy flavors. But there are some offsetting advantages (Table 8).

Analogues generally have better keeping quality than natural cheeses because hydrogenated vegetable oil is less likely to develop rancidity than butterfat. The absence of microbial cultures and their enzyme systems creates stable flavor and texture. Analogues made with vegetable oil also have less cholesterol than natural cheeses and can be formulated to have less saturated fat and fewer calories. The varying functional properties can be incorporated by the utilization of different ingredients.

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